Sprints are the cornerstone of the Scrum project management methodology. Sprints are the units of time in which teams determine and prioritize certain tasks from the product backlog, assign ownership to them and define the timeframe for their completion.
After the sprint is completed, the next step is the Scrum sprint review, which gives the team and stakeholders a chance to take a look at the work, discuss how the sprint went and see what could be done differently in the next one.
Let’s take a closer look at how a sprint review works.
How Does a Scrum Sprint Review Work?
The meeting components of Scrum project management are intended to be informal and concise, as opposed to the formulaic and hierarchical meeting structures of traditional management. However, there are certain elements which need to be included for the review to achieve its objectives.
1: The attendees should be the Scrum Team and stakeholders relevant to the sprint.
2: The Product Owner goes through the items from the product backlog that were in the sprint and lists what was done and not done. For this element, it’s vital to have a predefined “definition of done” so everyone is working from the same assumptions.
3: The Scrum Team demonstrates what work was completed during the sprint. These should be concise explanations, graphs or informative screenshots and be limited to one or two slides per item completed.
4: The Scrum Team then discusses how members felt the sprint went under topic headers such as: what went well, what problems were encountered, how those problems were solved and what lessons should be taken forward to the next sprint.
5: The Scrum Team answers questions about what was done during the sprint.
6: The Product Owner gives a review of the current status of the Product Backlog, including prioritizations, new inclusions and estimated completion timetables.
7: The Scrum Team discusses what to do in the next sprint, with everyone giving input. This is important to perform so that there is a Sprint Review contribution to the next Sprint Planning session.
The Purpose of a Scrum Sprint Review
Once these elements are included in whichever form the meeting facilitator (either the Product Owner or the Scrum Master) feels works best, the Scrum sprint review will have achieved its purpose. But what exactly is its purpose? Well, like any review, a sprint review is the perfect opportunity for reflection on how the previous week to month’s work went and what can be learned from the experience.
This is an essential element of the Scrum project management methodology, as it gives the team the chance to identify how things could be done better and what to watch out for in the future. Rather than just moving straight onto the next task, it recognizes how valuable the experience of the sprint has been and seeks to reinforce its learning potential.
Scrum teams are always seeking to improve how they perform tasks and the processes they use, but this requires a focus on learning and reflecting rather than just “doing.” Even failures or major delays can be extremely valuable for a team when taken in the context of iterative development and improvement. The sprint review, like a lesson review in school, is a relatively brief (around an hour per work of a sprint) moment to identify what the most important things to take forward are and ensures they are crystallized into actual practices.
To get the most out of Scrum, it’s vital to use the best project management software. At Clarizen, we have designed our PM tools with special consideration for Agile methodologies like Scrum. By switching to the Scrum view mode in Clarizen Go, you will have automatic templates for elements such as Product Backlogs and Sprint Boards to ensure your team has all the support it needs to be successful.